Sky TV without a satellite dish
By Mof Gimmers | Tuesday, June 15th 2021
Sky offers hundreds of TV channels, showing everything from Premier League football and big blockbuster Hollywood movies to Sky Atlantic’s high-quality TV dramas, but what if you don't want the clunky satellite dish that comes with it?
You'll be happy to learn that there are many ways you can access Sky's channels without needing a satellite dish, whether that's by signing up to Sky's own subsidiary streaming service, NOW TV, or by bolting channel packs on with another provider. We go through all the options for watching Sky TV without a satellite dish to help you decide.
Watch Sky with BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk
Virgin Media shows several Sky channels, including Sky One, Sky Living, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, Cartoon Network as well as the full collection of Sky Cinema and Sky Sports channels. You’ll need one of Virgin's top-tier packages to get all the channels, so make sure you look at what is available in each package before making a decision.
If you’re a BT customer, you will get all the NOW TV Entertainment channels as part of the Entertainment pack. One step up will bring you to BT’s Big Entertainment pack, which is NOW TV Entertainment and NOW TV Cinema combined. All the Sky Sports channels are also on offer in the Big Sport packs. Or you can choose the VIP pack, which will give you all the Sky channels available via the NOW TV Memberships.
TalkTalk customers can choose to bolt on any NOW TV Memberships with their TalkTalk TV package. TalkTalk Boosts are no longer available, but customers can choose to watch NOW TV via their TalkTalk YouView box instead, without the need for an additional viewing device.
Watch Sky with NOW TV
Sky has already made its most popular channels available through NOW TV, its online subscription service. The main selling point of NOW TV is that you can access Sky channels without committing to a long contract. Different monthly Memberships are on offer, and you can choose to take as many as you want. Sky Sports is available with either a daily or a rolling monthly Membership.
Once you've purchased your Membership, you can watch NOW TV via the free app, using streaming sticks such as Chromecast and Roku if you want to watch it on a big screen rather than staring at your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Alternatively NOW TV offers its own Smart Stick that connects directly to your TV, on which you can also watch iPlayer, All 4, ITV Hub, YouTube and more. You can also access NOW TV via the app on games consoles, such as XBox One and PS4.
The NOW TV Entertainment Membership gives you access to live content from a number of channels, including Sky One, Sky Atlantic, Comedy Central, MTV, SyFy and more. The Sky Cinema Membership is ideal for those of you who love films – it gives you access to all the full range of Sky Cinema channels, including thrillers, horrors, romance, kids films and more.
Meanwhile, the Kids Membership includes access to Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Boomerang, Cartoonito, and the rest to keep your little ones happy. The Sky Sports Membership gives you access to all ten Sky Sports channels, including Premier League, golf, cricket, and F1, as well as Eurosport and Sky Sports News.
Bear in mind that monthly NOW TV subscriptions will automatically roll on unless you take action to cancel them.
Watch Sky with the Sky Go app on a games console, tablet or phone
Due to the effects of Covid on Sky customer services at the time of writing, it is no longer clear whether you are still able to sign up for Sky TV but choose to not have a dish. If you can, as long as you have an up-to-date games console such as a PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 or Xbox One and a decent broadband connection (not necessarily with Sky), you can simply buy your Sky TV package, download the Sky Go app and enjoy your Sky channels on your TV via your games console. You can't record anything, but you can watch shows on Sky On Demand.
You can watch Sky Go on up to two devices, or upgrade to Sky Go Extra and watch on up to four. You can also download shows from Sky Go Extra to watch later. Just make sure you tell the sales advisor when you call up that you don't want a dish.
Sky may soon be available dish-free
Sky has previously announced that it intends to offer its services dish-free, via broadband, at some point, but thus far no date has been announced. This is a logical step for Sky, and the success of NOW TV will no doubt have inspired the provider to think beyond the traditional dish set-up. This also means that Sky will be able to connect homes that can’t install a satellite dish.
Frequently asked questions
Can I get Sky TV in a flat?
If you live in a block of flats and you want to watch Sky, you may be wondering what to do about the dish problem. If Sky is offered in your area, the flat you’re in may already have a communal dish installed – your landlord or building manager will be able to tell you. You won’t necessarily have to get an individual dish installed at your expense.
If that isn’t an option, NOW TV is a good bet if you're not prepared to wait for dish-free Sky, or you could see what is offered from companies like BT or Virgin Media, who both offer access to Sky channels and that do everything via your broadband connection.
Can I get Sky in a listed building?
If you live in a listed building, there is every chance you will not be allowed to have a Sky dish on your roof, in which case we advise you to choose one of the options above as an alternative until Sky launches its dish-free service.